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Kreg K4 Jig Kit
Pocket holes for the shop and home
Text, photos and video by Tom Hintz
Posted - 11-16-2008
The Kreg pocket hole technology has been a favorite of woodworkers for a long time because of their strength, simplicity and versatility. The Kreg K4 Jig Kit is a great way for woodworkers, home handypersons or the more common combination of both to get started with the Kreg pocket hole technology.
Woodworkers have used the Kreg pocket hole technology to build projects for a long time but this nifty system can also handle many home repairs just as easily. Once you start using the Kreg K4 Jig Kit you will find more ways of using it to save time and money.
In the Box
The Kreg K4 Jig Kit comes with the Kreg drilling guide block, bench mount with its integral material clamp, stepped drill, stop collar, a selection of the special screws and hole plugs, spacer block, square-drive bit and a nicely done Kreg Skillbuilder DVD. All of the Kreg K4 Jig Kit pieces come in a handy plastic carry case so everything you need is in one place. All you really need besides the Kreg K4 Jig Kit is a drill, a saw and the wood for the project. For many home repairs you may not even need the saw!
The Kreg K4 Jig Kit also includes (free) a dust collection shroud that can be attached to the bench mount jig. The dust shroud clicks onto the bench mount body and features a 1-3/8"-diameter connector port.
Kreg offers many accessories that enhance the Kreg K4 Jig Kit and the special screws are available at virtually any woodworking store as well as many big box stores and home centers. This kit gets you started and then if necessary, you can fill it out to best fit the uses you find for it.
The Kreg Jig
One of the keys to the Kreg K4 Jig Kit versatility is the dual-mode drilling jig assembly. This two-piece unit can be bench mounted or the drilling block can be removed so it can be clamped directly to the work piece on its own. Because the drilling block controls the special bit and the angle at which the pocket hole is drilled, the resulting joint retains its strength in virtually any situation. Being able to take the drilling block to the job makes it possible to work with very large pieces easily and makes the list of potential uses virtually limitless.
Graduations on the drilling block and bench mount makes it easy to set the Kreg K4 Jig Kit up for virtually any wood thickness. The jig body also has a gauge for setting the stop collar on the special stepped drill bit. There is no guessing - use the setup gauges provided and the pocket holes come out perfect the first time.
The drilling block has three specially spaced drilling guides that make it easy to align virtually any width work piece for drilling one or more holes accurately and in the best arrangement. Each of the drilling holes has a special metal liner that guides the stepped drill bit to insure the proper angle on the pocket hole and prevents wandering that could deform the hole.
The Kreg K4 Jig Kit includes a spacer block that slips onto the bottom of the drilling block. If you align the end of the drilling block (no spacer) with the edge of the wood, the pocket hole is placed for 1/2"-thick material. Add the included spacer block and align its bottom with the edge of the wood and the hole is located for 3/4"-thick material. Additional spacer blocks (available as an accessory) can be added with each additional spacer increasing the compatible wood thickness by 1/4".
The bench mount jig has its own clamp for securing the wood against the drilling block. This fully adjustable clamp uses a simple flip lever to apply and release pressure quickly and easily. A large no-mar disk on the end of the clamp shaft holds the wood securely without disturbing the surface. The quick action of this clamp makes drilling multiple pieces very fast without sacrificing accuracy.
The bench mount jig has provisions for screwing it directly to the bench or a board if you want to make a more permanent setup. The bench mount also has an area at its operator end for clamping it to a board or bench for temporary uses.
The Kreg K4 Jig Kit does include a small instructional pamphlet but it only covers the basics of setting up and using the jig. The Skillbuilder DVD that comes with the Kreg K4 Jig Kit presents a detailed look at all of the necessary setup and use skills in very well done video segments. This format makes it much easier to understand the processes which makes learning to use the Kreg K4 Jig Kit far easier and faster. The DVD also allows Kreg to present a full range of topics from basic pocket hole joinery to repairs and much more.
The Skillbuilder DVD is a professionally done, well though out instructional tool that will guide new and veteran users through the entire process. If you can't make strong joints and repairs with the Kreg K4 Jig Kit, it is because you didn't watch the video. Plus, the Skillbuilder DVD is like having an on-call tutor, available whenever you need to refresh your memory or brush up on a skill.
In the Shop
If you have used a Kreg pocket hole jig in the past you can stop right here. You already know how well it works and how easy it is to use. For all others, you are in for a welcome surprise. All of the tough stuff is handled in the jig itself. Learn to apply the jig correctly, which should take all of a half hour and you will be making tough, accurate joints from there on out.
Getting the bench base along with the drilling block makes the Kreg K4 Jig Kit far more versatile for woodworkers and home handypersons alike. The easy to follow instructions and markings on the base and drilling block make setting this jig up fast and accurate. The quality of the design and construction really do take most of the learning curve out of using pocket hole joinery. You get to expend your efforts designing and building, not learning. Plus, the strength of the pocket hole joints made by the Kreg K4 Jig Kit means that in most cases you can assemble the joint and move right on to the next step. You seldom have to wait for the glue to dry.
Holding the project pieces in alignment while driving the screw is important. The Kreg Face Clamp has large steel discs that grip the joint and hold the pieces flush to each other. The clamp in the photo has a 3-1/4" reach and a maximum thickness capacity of 2-3/4". Other versions are available with 6" and 10" reaches or for angled assemblies. The Kreg Face Clamps have street prices from $21.99 to $39.99 (11-16-2008) for the various sizes.
Quick Change Kit
Kreg also offers this Quick change set that includes a quick change chuck with compatible Kreg step drill and square driver bit. This will make doing multiple pocket hole joints much faster. The bits in this kit are fully compatible with all Kreg pocket hole jigs and screws. The Quick Change Kit has a street price of $29.99. (11-15-2008) Click Here to check pricing at Woodcraft
The Kreg K4 Jig Kit is a very good bargain for woodworkers and home handypersons. This is a well-made tool in a thoughtfully planned kit that with a little common sense care will last forever. The only expendables are the screws themselves (and an occasional drill bit for heavy users) so the after purchase costs are minimal to say the least. With a street price of $99.99 (11-15-2008) the Kreg K4 Jig Kit represents a great value that will have positive influences on your work for many years to come.
With the range of compatible accessories Kreg offers, users can easily fill out the Kreg K4 Jig Kit to best suit their needs.
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